Kolkata: In her pursuit to restore health of
the state-run hospitals where services have deteriorated over
the years, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday made a
surprise visit to the Baghajatin State General Hospital.
She expressed dismay at seeing the long queues before the
outpatient department which was not open one and a half hours
after the scheduled opening.
Asking for the superintendent who was not found at hand,
the chief minister took a quick round of the hospital floors
to see for herself the state of affairs.
When some senior staff members informed the chief
minister that the superintendent was on leave, she called for
the person in charge of the hospital to get to know why the
OPD was not open till 11.30 am when it was supposed to
open at 10 am.
Banerjee also made enquiries from the senior staff
members as to why there were long queues of patients before
the OPD and why they were not taking steps to serve the
The chief minister`s sudden visit, which had taken her
earlier to SSKM Hospital, Bangur institute of neurosciences
and psychiatry and Sambhunath Pandit Hospital, caught the
authorities of the hospital, which is located in former chief
minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee`s constituency, unawares as
the general staff, nurses, and ward masters gathered around
Taking an initiative to sort out the state of affairs in
the government-run hospitals in the state which was one of her
poll promises, Banerjee since last week has been making
unannounced detours on her way to the secretariat to the
hospitals to see for herself the prevailing condition.
The state-run hospitals were once the fulcrum of the
state`s health care system widely appreciated for rendering
impeccable care to patients, but over the years they gained
notoriety for lax services, which prompted Banerjee to keep
the health portfolio to herself.